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Arnab Goswami Arrest: Suppression Of Press or Fair Play?



Arnab Goswami Arrest: Suppression Of Press or Fair Play?

The Editor-In-Chief of Republic TV, Arnab Goswami was arrested on Thursday in suicide case which happened back in 2018. The investigation of this particular case was recently re-opened, as said by Mumbai police. However, there are BJP, and many others believe that the arrest violates the freedom of speech. Many believe that the Maharashtra government is trying to silence Republic TV and Mr Goswami.

The social media broke out with tweets made by several Union Ministers who have deeply condemned the arrest and subsequently reminded the time of Emergency back in 1975; it was the time when the government of Indira Gandhi had cracked down on the media.

Why Arnab Goswami was arrested?

Mr Goswami has been arrested for allegedly abetting the 2018 suicide of Anvay Naik, a 53-year-old interior designer and his mother. He had designed the set of Republic TV news channel.

It is reported that the interior designer had named Mr Goswami in his suicide note and had severely accused the channel, Republic TV of not clearing his dues after the completion of the channel’s set-up.

Mr Naik had mentioned two other names in the note, Feroz and Nitesh Sharda, who were also arrested. The case was closed by the Mumbai police in the past under alleged pressure.

It was in May 2020 that the Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had announced the reinvestigation of the suicide after a complaint was freshly lodged by Adnya Naik, the interior designer’s daughter.

“Arnab kept saying arrests should be made in the Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case where there was no presence of a suicide note. My husband, on the other hand, had left behind a suicide note naming Arnab and two others but no arrests were made. How fair is this?” Anvay Naik’s wife Akshata enquired.

“There were three names in the suicide note. My father had given it all, the money he spent, energy, sweat at last his blood on his project. Arnab Goswami made sure that his dues are unpaid. My father mentions rupees 83 lakhs as dues in his suicide note,” said his daughter Adnya.

During the arrest, Mr Goswami loudly complained to the media before being pushed into the van that he was manhandled and assaulted by police officials. He also showed the injuries caused to his forearm due to the manhandling.

Media houses had captured and quoted him complaining that Mumbai Police “physically assaulted his mother-in-law and father-in-law, son and wife”. Later, when Republic TV aired several angled videos, there were policemen seen holding him while they were attempting to arrest him. The police officers also charged him with assaulting a woman officer in another case.

BJP leaders condemns arrest

The BJP leaders and Right-Wing supporters have claimed this as the death of democracy as this particular incident reminded them about times of censorship and curbing of one’s freedom of speech.

Condemning the attack on press freedom in Maharastra, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar Tweeted, the incident reminds of the emergency days when the press was treated like this.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while condemning the episode Tweeted: Congress and its allies have shamed democracy once again. He stated that it is an attack on individual freedom and the 4th pillar of democracy and an apparent misuse of state power against Republic TV and Arnab Goswami. Adding, he wrote, the attack will be opposed.

After Mr Goswani’s arrest, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar Tweeted that shows shades of Emergency and attack on freedom of speech.

Members of BJP claimed “fascism” by Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena-led coalition.

A few media bodies and editors, including the individuals who are disparaging of his brand of news coverage, condemned the arrest.

Republic TV stated: “Arnab Goswami’s arrest has been made part of a larger vindictive exercise against an independent journalist and news network. This is to bring to light real facts on unfounded allegations in a closed case based on which Arnab Goswami was assaulted and arrested.”

Mr Goswani was produced before the Alibaug Court in Maharashtra on Thursday; however, the court denied plea for 14 days police custody.

Court explains on refusal of police custody.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sunaina Pingale, in her order says Raigad Police has failed to show why police custody is required for Mr Goswami in the case where the “A” summary has been filed, leading the closure of the case earlier. The magistrate goes on to add that grounds for arrest and police custody pleaded by the prosecution show that the arrest too may seem to be illegal.

The court also said that it “failed to see how the police has sought for remand without bringing strong evidence on record to show that the circumstances leading to the arrest, which warranted his police custody for investigation,” a report by NDTV read.

The court further added that the police failed to show what were the shortcomings and gaps in the investigation which was carried out in 2018, leading to re-opening of the probe. Adding to the setback for the police, the court said police failed to show the link between the alleged deaths by suicide and Mr Goswami’s connection to those suicides to justify police custody.

Additional Public Prosecutor Mahakal informed the court the case was closed earlier due to lack of evidence. However, after Mr Naik’s wife, Akshata Naik, filed another complaint to re-start the investigation, police have enough evidence to justify Mr Goswami’s arrest.

While the order is a relief for Mr Goswami, police sources say they disagree with the conclusions of the court and will challenge it in the appropriate forum.

Meanwhile, Mr Goswami had pleaded for an immediate release in front of Bombay High court, besides a stay on all further proceedings, including investigation into the FIR. His representative senior counsel Harish Salve and Abad Ponda at the virtual hearing sought for interim release arguing that Mr Goswami’s arrest was ‘completely illegal’.

Attack on Republic TV – Trap by Maharashtra Government?

The sudden arrest of the journalist comes in the middle of his series with the Mumbai Police over its investigations into a scam for higher ratings and severe allegations against the news channel, Republic TV being amongst the top three channels involved in the manipulation TRPs or Television Rating Points by bribing households for viewership and exaggerating the case to the point where it had held its investigations. The editor had blamed the police for pestering his associates and seeking after a dispute over his channel’s analysis of Mumbai Police’s treatment of the Sushant Singh Rajput case.

The Congress, a partner in the state’s ruling coalition, hit on the BJP of “Selective outrage”, after part accused Maharastra Government on the arrest of Mr Goswami.

Maharashtra’s ruling Shiv Sena denied that the arrest was a vicious move,” The law is followed in Maharashtra. Police can take action if they have evidence against anyone. Since the formation of the Uddhav Thackeray government, no action has been taken against anyone for revenge,” said senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut.

Though few liberals have also condemned the arrest while they stood firm, and disregarded Mr Goswami’s journalism. The arrest and the charges against Goswami have a legit explanation to it, calling it as planned and targeted one would be a rugged stance to hold.

The fact remains that Maharashtra Government quickly used their last weapon against the editor as things went beyond and after in Sushant Singh Rajput’s case which stretched onto the drug abuse case of Bollywood finally the demolishing of actress, Kangana Ranaut’s office in Mumbai.

Another controversial case is at hand, which in future can bring a new turn of events. Maharashtra Government’s move was witty or imprudent; this will be decided after the evidence are set, and court proceedings begin.

Currently, Bombay High Court his hearing to Mr Goswami’s habeas corpus plea. 

A girl with aspirations and desires skyrocketing yet likes to keep it lowkey—also a political enthusiast with the zest of bringing a change. I always like to be indulged in good conversations with a hot cup of coffee. I am an avid reader with a habit of binge-watching movies and shows.


All You Need To Know About National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021



National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021

On July 26, 2021, Lok Sabha passed a bill under the ministry of Food Processing Industry. The bill is titled as National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021. The main motive of this bill is to address issues with the Food Processing Industry, Entrepreneurship and one Institution for National Importance. With the passing of this bill, the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) and National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) is now merged as Institutions of National Importance, and it aims at providing various research and advancement in learning about the Food Industry and its associated branches. The bill was first introduced in the house in February 2019 but was pending due to protest by the opposition.

Significance of Institutions of National Importance (INI)

With the passing of this bill, the institutions enjoy greater autonomy through which they can carry out various courses, research attracting skilled faculties and students from all over the country and overseas. Good standards in education will be adopted to improve the present and future of education in this branch and sector, overcoming the technological gap in the country. This law aims to improve and introduce new changes in food, bio-nanotechnology, cold chain technology etc. The desired efforts will be taken in terms of human resources and infrastructure developments, labs for research etc. Liberty to open centres anywhere in India is also granted to INI and include courses regarding food technology certification and improving the workforce of the country.

Some other important features of this act are the Institution has been authorized with the Board of Government, Senate and other acting Authorities. The Council of Board will include 16 members from different branches from the same field. The Head will be Chairperson, who will be a skilled person from the Food Industry, the Director, Dean and Registrar. Members appointed from Centre and State Governments, Members from FSSAI and Council of Agriculture Research, as mentioned in the bill. The 16 members of the board will carry out work of taking administrative decisions, creating annual budgets and paths for institution progress as an organization, establishing departments, their appointment terms of services, faculties etc. The Board of Council also holds power to grant Honorary Degrees and Diplomas. The Senate shall be the principal academic body of the Institute, consisting of the people such as Director as the Chairperson; Registrar; Full-time skilled level Professor; and Three academically skilled Individuals nominated by the board from the field.

The Union Minister of Food Processing Industry, Mr Pashupati Kumar Paras, expressed his gratitude to PM Modi for this landmark step in this industry from his Twitter handle, indicating new opportunities in Food Technology Industries. Therefore, this Act looks promising on paper with new opportunities and in Educational Development. Amidst the Pegasus Spyware and repeal of the farm laws, this looks positive from the Modi Government.

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Fake News: Accountability Of News Organisations



Fake News II News Aur Chai

Fake news is false news stories or hoaxes, which are deliberately released to misinform and to create chaos in society or among readers. Fake news is one of the main reasons behind the disruption of peace in society and it becomes more dangerous in volatile places. Fake news is generally shared with propaganda to mislead the audience by hiding or twisting the truth. However fake news isn’t new to the web, it recently became an enormous problem in today’s digital world. Fake news mostly comes from sites that are bogus or have sensationalized stories.

Most of the users do not check the facts before sharing the information on their social media, which can be a reason for widespread fake news. So, it is important to differentiate between fake news and authentic news to maintain harmony in society and to avoid false news and its repercussions.

Fake News Stories

  • On 2nd April, a team of doctors, health workers, and revenue officials were attacked by the family members of a 65-year-old man who died of COVID-19 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh because of the fake video which claimed that healthy Muslims were being injected with the virus, reiterating the risks and physical manifestations of misinformation.
  • On March 22, 2020, Mr. Modi’s new term ‘Janta curfew’ has sparked a buzz on the Internet. Social media users started interpreting PM Modi’s concept of ‘Janta curfew’ in their own ways. Social media was flooded with a certain ‘scientific explanation’ behind the curfew as to how it will break the chain of transmissions of the deadly coronavirus infection. The claim was found out to be misleading. PM Modi, while announcing the curfew, didn’t mention this particular ‘scientific’ logic behind it.
  • Rumours were circulated on WhatsApp groups about a kidnapping gang operating in India’s western state of Maharashtra in 2018. The rumors eventually cause a mob lynching, that killed five migrant workers because they were suspected of being kidnappers.
  • On November 13, 2016, when the government of India has demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and planned to replace them with new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes, rumors were spreading about Rs 2000 notes. Rumors claimed the new higher denomination currency comes with a Nano-GPS chip which acts as a reflector, giving precise location coordinates of the currency to permit every note to be tracked. However, the RBI officials had dismissed these as false and said the new Rs 2000 note does not have a Nano-GPS chip as is being claimed on social media, WhatsApp.
  • In the pandemic situation, where vaccination has become crucial, in a series of viral videos it was seen that people are claiming that magnet was attracted to the arms of alleged COVID-19 vaccinated recipients. This kind of fake news can create misconceptions about vaccines and people may not take their jab of vaccines. The Centre has declined the claims that Covid-19 vaccines can make people ‘magnetic’. It has also dismissed theories about microchips in coronavirus vaccines.

Need of Accountability

False information on social media can cause huge problems. It is often done to influence political processes. Need for Accountability increases in such situations because the false information provided by certain news organizations can create a ruckus in society. Before publishing the news, it is necessary to check the facts.

If the news organizations, shared misinformation unintentionally they must remove the content right away and they should apologize to the readers. If fake news is spread with propaganda to create chaos in society, then the news organization should be punished under the law. The information must be checked before sharing it with other people.


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Curious Case Of Pegasus: Explained



Pegasus II News Aur Chai

Pegasus is a spyware that can hack the victims’ mobile phones and read their SMS messages and emails. The Pegasus spyware is owned by an Israeli software company named NSO Group. According to the various reports, this company has targeted more than 50,000 phone numbers at the Global level, of which 300 are in India for surveillance.

The news broke out after the 17 media partners investigated. This investigation brought into the picture information about a leaked database of mobile telephone numbers of Indian Ministers, Opposition leaders, journalists, the legal community, business people, government officials, scientists, activists and many influential personalities of the nation.

Pegasus Spyware and India

According to the report by the agency, the Israeli company which sells Pegasus around the world says that its clients are confined to ‘vetted governments”, believed to number 36. The NSO Group also says that ‘the target list in India is not ours, never was.’ Their refusal of the leaked database has created a loophole in understanding this case.

This whole case has violated the integrity of democratic institutions. According to the report by the agencies, after the mobile phones of the opposition leader Rahul Gandhi and various other leaders were hacked under the Pegasus spyware surveillance. Multiple tweets were made against the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) government in India. This whole case has become one of the major threats in the political arena and the Indian Democracy.

Though at the start, it was used for national security purposes. The explosive expansion of surveillance technology vendors has become a vast human rights and a global security issue. If such surveillance technologies increase, it might cause a lot of problems to countries around the globe. Hence, as a precaution, all these countries need to work on regulating this technology.

According to the reports by the agency, one of the targeted phones by the Pegasus spyware was of the former election commissioner of India, Ashok Lavasa. Various such people and such opposition leaders were somehow against the BJP government having their phones hacked with the NSO-owned spyware. All these instances and the names in the leaked list have pointed figures towards the Modi Government.

The Modi government’s stand on this case was put forward in Lok Sabha by two serving ministers, Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Singh Patel. These two leaders were also featured in the leaked database. The recent Information Technology Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw defended the BJP government in the parliament by saying, “the expose was an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions.” She even said, ‘any form of illegal surveillance is not possible with the checks and balances in our laws and robust institutions.’

This case has adjourned the parliament proceedings due to the protests inside and outside the house of parliament by the opposition party.

Pegasus Spyware and World.

 In the statement given to the agency, Access Now, an organisation defending the digital rights of global users, said it was outraged that products sold by NSO were allegedly “used to hack and invade the private communications” of thousands of people across the globe.

At a global level, France’s Emmanuel Macron was targeted in the Pegasus spyware case. As the phone of French President Emmanuel Macron was hacked, the investigation was carried out and later on was published which was directed by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden.  After this case came in front of the whole world, the Pegasus spyware surveillance came into the picture.

If this continues for some more time, it will ruin India’s Democratic values at a global level. As well as this might become a huge technological threat between the different nations around the globe.

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